One Good Thing in 2015: Sarah Frankcom, Kerry Harker & Jason Wood

Polly Checkland Harding
Still from the film with a man looking at a bird in a case

If you had to list just one thing you’re looking forward to this year, what would it be? We ask some of the north’s cultural movers and shakers.

To mark the launch of our Cultural Calendar 2015, we asked some of our favourite people to tell us the one thing they are looking forward to most this year. First, Everything Everything, Sally McDonald and Matt Fenton made their top picks. Next, it’s the turn of the Royal Exchange theatre’s Sarah Frankcom, co-founder of the Tetley Kerry Harker, and the new Artistic Director for film at HOME, Jason Wood.

Sarah Frankcom: God Speed You! Black Emperor

There are lots of brilliant cultural events in Manchester that I’m looking forward to. I can’t wait for the opening of HOME and the reopening of the Whitworth – the new show from Cornelia Parker is not to be missed. And there’s the return of Manchester International Festival, who we will be collaborating. However, the event I am beyond excited about is Godspeed You! Black Emperor at the Albert Hall (17 Apr). I adore this extraordinary group of Canadian musicians. It’s hard to categorise them – their sound gets right under your skin, wrecks your head and makes time stop for a while. I saw them live for the first time last year, where they played their critically acclaimed new album, Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! – it was extraordinary. The fact they are playing in one of my favourite buildings in Manchester, which has a unique acoustic and atmosphere, is the icing on the cake. Sarah Frankcom is the Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre. Last year, she directed Maxine Peake as Hamlet at the theatre – the production has been made into a film, to be shown at HOME in April.

Kerry Harker: The British Art Show, Leeds

The British Art Show in Leeds is a gigantic opportunity for the city and the region to raise its game and do something special – and for Leeds to seize that opportunity and do something exciting with it. We have everything in place to make a huge success of it. Kerry Harker is the co-founder of The Tetley in Leeds. Read our interview with her here.

Jason Wood: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

I know it’s a safe choice, but the cultural event I am looking forward to is a microcosm of everything that remains exciting about cinema and film. It’s the release in April of Swedish auteur, Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. Winner of the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice International Film Festival, the film is a beautifully orchestrated look at the foibles of human existence. Funny, poignant and profoundly melancholic, it acts as an absurd mirror to life. Jason Wood is the new Artistic Director for Film at HOME. Read our interview with him here.

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